Jordan Gill hails win over Michael Conlan as high point in turbulent year
Jordan Gill knew taking on Michael Conlan in Belfast would be a massive challenge, but on Saturday he overwhelmed the hometown fighter to earn victory via a seventh-round stoppage.
Gill was previously seen losing to Kiko Martinez 13 months ago in a fight that he called "embarrassing" and one that led to a difficult spell in his personal life in which Gill said he "lost touch" with himself, but the 29-year-old's career is back on track following an impressive performance in Northern Ireland.
Despite stepping into the hostile environment of the SSE Arena, where Conlan had fought four times previously — including his three fights immediately prior to Saturday's — Gill looked the far more comfortable fighter of the two, as he executed a game plan that kept Conlan on the back foot and wary of the power that Gill could deliver in his punches.
It was a performance that left Gill with a big smile on his face.
"Yeah I enjoyed it," Gill told DAZN immediately following the fight. "You know my reaction was that (holding his hand to his ear) to silence the fans, to go into the champion's backyard.
"[He's] a world class fighter. I have the utmost respect for Michael Conlan."
Gill was the aggressor for much of the bout, which was the strategy that he and his team came up with as they felt Conlan wouldn't be able to handle having to react to the fight rather than controlling it.
"The plan was to make Mick work," he said. "We knew that he lacked efficiency. I thought that I could hurt him with either hand and hurt him every round.
"And I knew I would. I knocked him down heavy [in the second round], I thought it could've been stopped there but after he got up I thought, 'I'm gonna get him, it's just a matter of time'.
"There were certain times I strayed away from the game plan ... but I got there in the end."